Stratopower-Beamed Power from Stratospheric Airships: a Vehicle for Exponential Growth

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The utilization of solar satellites beaming power to an airship based construction, permanently positioned about 18 to 25 km altitude will allow airship utilization to act as rectenna catchment area, an atmospheric intermediary and a relay station for ground based rectenna or receiver dish attributes. Although the feasibility of the complex space based solar power issue is not yet established, investigation of the methodology of space to airship and hence to ground as a beamed transfer system of this type poses considerable potential for the design and development of in space and orbital energy supply process, and obtaining energy features may be included within space based operational platforms, and for spacecraft and advanced upper aircraft attributes. Such prospect may presently open up a new era, both for solar satellite power generation and for beamed propulsion entities and vehicles functioning within low earth orbit ranges.

From much lower orbital altitude than GEO placed solar power utilities, the stratopower system can readily negotiate and transmit power to moving vehicles, including compatible space craft during in phase operations and for high power aircraft potentials, demonstrating a flexible and diversified function. Such a system would be self- sufficient through renewable resources, without pollution and with maximum flexibility for utilization.
The system would include:

A solar satellite system, including the primary solar collection panels and associated power referral mechanisms. A parabolic main collector or mirror array of 5 meter structure with the given purpose of focusing and concentrating the power source into a single component in order to transform the energy potentials into microwave. A secondary mirror as intermediary to transmit the GEO space originated microwave beam to the airship complex. A minimum of three of these beamed power systems would provide a comprehensive power source offering global coverage and availability. The receiving airship platform would be positioned in a compatible orbital alignment to the space based power source. This unmanned utility would operate as a permanent upper atmospheric entity whose leveraged capacity and energy requirements would in part supported by the beamed power as delivered from solar satellite basis. The airship system will consist of hexagonal shaped airship modules, 360mt in diameter and 100mt in height thereby forming a suitable rectenna receiving area for the available microwave transmission. The modular shape will also allow for an expansion into larger areas by connection to additional modular airship components.

The structure would be maintained by a manned or unmanned airship based feeder system obtaining docking and transfer capacity to the cruising stratopower system for maintenance and overhaul. From the airship through several laser based microwave transferal units the delivery of beamed energy to ground based receiving rectenna or specially equipped atmospheric vehicles and aircraft is available. The stratopower base could also be powered as a comprehensive beamed power transfer station through the provisions of airship based Solar cell PV by day and Hydrogen cell by night, which would obtain a totally self-sufficient and maintaining airship energy source together with a manned overhaul and trough feeder system.


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  • Name:
    Charles Radley
  • Type of entry:
    Team members:
    G. Gaviraghi, P. Marzocca, J. Miller, C. Radley, A. Sinclair*, K. Taggard
    *Corresponding Author, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Leeward Space Foundation,
    P.O. Box 3573, Estes Park, CO. 80517, 229-380-8034,
  • Software used for this entry:
    3dmax and corel draw
  • Patent status: